[Living Life 11/15/2017] Philemon 1:15-25, Putting the Kingdom First

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“If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.  I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand, I will pay it back — not to mention that you owe me your very self.”  Philemon 1:18-19

Paul’s words to Philemon when sending back Philemon’s runaway slave, Onesimus, seems like a letter that Jesus could be writing to me when sending back someone that has offended me or done me wrong….”If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.”  This means that when others do wrong to me, I should not exact retribution from the wrongdoer; instead, I should go to Jesus who will pay me back for whatever wrong was done to me, on that person’s behalf.

Just as Jesus took on our sins, Jesus takes on the sins of those who have sinned against us.    Paul is willing to pay Philemon back for what Philemon feels he’s owed; Jesus is willing to pay us for what we feel we are owed. However, Paul puts everything into perspective when he reminds Philemon that Philemon already owes a great debt to Paul such that whatever Philemon thinks he is owed, it is nothing compared to the debt that Philemon owes to Paul.

So, perhaps when we get mad that Jesus isn’t giving us justice or isn’t answering our prayers in the way we want, we need to step back and realize that Jesus already gave us the most valuable thing — our lives and a restored relationship with God through His sacrifice on the cross — there really isn’t anything more we are owed.  In fact, it is we who owe Jesus everything.

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1 Response to [Living Life 11/15/2017] Philemon 1:15-25, Putting the Kingdom First

  1. justinryu says:

    I like Karen’s analogy between Paul’s letter to Philemon for Onesimus and Jesus’ letter to us for those who did wrong to us. I can see how carefully Paul was writing his letter not offending Philemon’s feeling while being very very sure that Philemon treat Onesmus well without failure. If Philemon didn’t understand Paul’s intention clearly and didn’t treat Onesimus as Paul wanted, he were a fool. I should be careful not to be a fool. Jesus’ letter is also very clear to us.

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